20 june

11 Metal Casting Methods

Metal casting is the process of making objects by pouring molten metal into an empty shaped space. The metal then cools and hardens into the form given to it by this shaped mold. Casting is often a less expensive way to manufacture a piece compared with machining the part out of a piece of solid metal. There are many metal casting methods to choose from. What type of casting is most efficient depends on the metals used, the size of the run, and the complexity of the casting.

Before starting a production run, it is helpful to know some of the terms and methods from the foundry floor.

Jump to Casting terminology
Jump to Types of metal casting

CASTING TERMINOLOGY
Casting mold
Cope and drag
Swing and ram
Molding cores
Surface finishing

METAL CASTING METHODS
Metal casting comes in two main categories: processes with reusable molds and processes with expendable molds.

1. Reusable molds:
-Permanent molds
-Semi-permanent molds
-Slush casting
-Centrifugal casting
-Pressure casting
-Die casting
2. Expendable molds:
-Sand casting
-Shell molding
-Investment casting (lost-wax)
-Full mold or foam

Consultation with manufacturers is helpful to find the most cost-effective way to cast a project. In general, ferrous metals will be cast using expendable molds, whereas non-ferrous metals have a wider range of possibilities, but there are exceptions even to this simple rule.

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